WTO launches website for TFAF

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has launched a new website, which will serve as a focal point for members, donors, and others seeking information on the new Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF).

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has launched a new website, which will serve as a focal point for members, donors, and others seeking information on the new Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF).

TFAF was created at the request of developing country and least-developed country (LDC) members to help ensure that they receive the assistance needed to reap the full benefits of the Trade Facilitation Agreement and to support the ultimate goal of full implementation of the new Agreement by all members. TFAF will support these countries in assessing their specific needs and identifying possible development partners to help them meet those needs through a diverse number of activities.

The Facility was formally launched on July 22, 2014 by WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and became operational on 27 November 2014. The website can be accessed here in English, French and Spanish.
 
The Trade Facilitation Agreement broke new ground for developing and least-developed countries in the way it will be implemented. For the first time in WTO history, the requirement to implement the agreement was directly linked to the capacity of the country to do so. In addition, the agreement states that assistance and support should be provided to help them achieve that capacity.
To benefit from this, developing and LDC members must notify the WTO which provisions they will implement when the Agreement enters into force or, in the case of LDCs, within one year after entry into force (Category A commitments); which provisions they will implement after a transitional period following the entry into force of the Agreement (Category B); and which provisions they will implement on a date after a transitional period following the entry into force of the Agreement and that require the acquisition of assistance and support for capacity building (Category C).

More information on trade facilitation and the TFA can be found at www.wto.org/tradefacilitation.

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